In Our Opinion: Elect Larsen to another term in the U.S. House of Representatives

Taking on a popular, 20-year veteran congressman isn’t an easy task, but Oak Harbor resident Tim Hazelo should be commended for giving it a shot.

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, a Democrat, is running for his 11th term representing the Second Congressional District, which comprises the whole of San Juan and Island counties as well as the communities that line the I-5 corridor, from Mountlake Terrace in the south to Bellingham in the north.

Larsen is known as a moderate voice in Congress who is a supporter of both the Navy and veterans. He is smart, reasonable and responsive to the community.

As a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, he is an influential member of Congress. He is also pretty powerful, which is probably why the Republicans didn’t make a very serious effort at challenging him.

Larsen raised $1.18 million for the 2020 election as of July, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Hazelo, a Republican, retired from the Navy after a 20-year career as a crew chief, flight engineer and operator. He currently works as a EA-18G simulator computer operator.

Hazelo has raised $24,000 for his campaign as of July, making one wonder about the degree of his dedication to the race, as well as his party’s support for him.

After Hazelo advertised a political event in Oak Harbor that flouted rules about gatherings during the pandemic, a Republican state senator who was advertised as a speaker said he knew nothing about the event and said the snafu was “typical Tim.”

At forums and even on his website, Hazelo’s messages are muddled in mixing state issues into a federal race. He complained, for example, about big businesses being allowed to stay open while small ones are not. Not only is that a state issue, it’s not accurate. It’s alarming that he doesn’t understand this.

Larsen is a career politician and it’s understandable that people have concerns. The longer politicians serve, the harder it is to defeat them in the event they need replacing.

Fortunately, Larsen has done a good job of representing the diverse views in his district. We believe he has earned another term in office.

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